Men and women performing community dance

Diversity and creativity take centre stage with City's approval of $5.85 million in grants for Vancouver's arts and culture scene

Investing in local groups is a key element to strengthening Vancouver's already thriving arts and culture scene.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

April 3 2019 –

City Council today approved a total of $5.85 million in cultural grants to 195 organizations to support Vancouver-based organizations, projects, and artists.

The approved grants meet the our current goals to support:

  • Artistic
  • Cultural
  • Creative work
  • The many facets of the artistic community

The grants include funding to 14 new groups and help advance the our priorities to support breadth of diversity and cultural expression as well as sustainable growth in the sector.

"Investing in local groups is a key element to strengthening Vancouver's already thriving arts and culture scene," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "The grants approved by Council today recognize the impact these diverse groups have – and will continue to have – on our city."

Grants support a range of cultural organizations and artistic disciplines

As part of Vancouver's ongoing investment in arts and culture, the grants support a range of cultural organizations and artistic disciplines:

  • The Savage Society’s Indigenous storytelling productions through theatre and animation
  • The Cultch’s world-class dynamic and inclusive presentations of theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts
  • Vancouver Co-operative Radio’s diverse programming in over 12 languages, artist residencies and training for media artists, and monthly cultural events
  • The Powell Street Festival Society’s annual free celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture
  • Pride In Art Society’s annual Queer Arts Festival and newly-opened SUM Gallery for queer art exhibitions and performances
  • Kokoro Dance Theatre Society’s productions and operations at KW Studios in the Downtown Eastside 
  • Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture’s live music performances, literary events, visual art exhibitions, artist development workshops, public gatherings, and artist talks

Funding to cultural institutions

Council also approved ongoing funding to five long-standing major cultural institutions in Vancouver:

  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Museum of Vancouver
  • H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum
  • Science World

Review a full list of the cultural grants recipients

The assessment process

The grant recommendations approved by Council were informed by an assessment process, which included City staff and community members who reflected a range of expertise and experiences within the local arts and culture sector, and with a large majority of members identifying as First Nation, Indigenous, and People of Colour.

Community outreach

As part of ongoing efforts to broaden community outreach, City staff held information sessions and provided American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation at each session at:

  • The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
  • The Aboriginal Friendship Centre

New vision for art, culture, and creativity

Through the Creative City Strategy, an updated comprehensive new framework and vision for art, culture, and creativity is under development.

The Creative City Strategy will reflect our commitment to Reconciliation and Equity:

  • Include previously under-represented voices and communities
  • Build partnerships across communities
  • Develop strategies to strengthen arts and culture

Each year through Cultural Services, we invest more than $12 million through grant streams including operating, annual assistance, project, community arts, theatre rental grants, arts capacity, and the independent artists’ fund.